Everyone take your seats, ACE Home Services summer school is in session! This time on the blog we’re taking a big picture look at one of our most critical services and give you the info you need to make the best decisions. Let’s talk about HVAC basics, and you!
HVAC Basics and You
What is ‘HVAC’?
Simply put, HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s what allows us to be so comfortable inside cars, planes, homes, hotels, and more. Also sometimes known as climate control.
H – Heating
Can be a furnace, heat pump, boiler/radiator or more
V – Ventilation
Exhaust, Supply, Balanced ventilation are all types of ventilation systems. Exhaust draws air out from the home, while supply forces exterior air in. A balanced system, as you might imagine, works both ways.
AC – Air conditioning
Many types of air conditioning exist including central, window, ductless air conditioners, and more.
What is HVAC for?
As mentioned, HVAC is designed to help moderate temperatures inside buildings and vehicles, but that’s not all! HVAC is also critical in ensuring indoor air quality. Ventilation systems are made up of ducts, filters, and fans to move fresh air in, push stagnant air out, and filter out the tiny debris, microbes, pet hair, and dander. In short, it’s for being comfortable!
How Does HVAC Work?
Alright, so this one is a little bit trickier to answer. Obviously HVAC, is a combination of a few different systems yes, that work sometimes together, sometimes separate (for instance, your heating might be operating but your air conditioning may not) to manage the temperature. Here’s how: Heating systems use the ventilation to pull air through the ducts into a furnace where gas is burned to heat the air, then fans push it back throughout the house. Cooling works on a similar principle, hot air is brought through ventilation ducts to the AC unit in your home. There the AC unit uses a refrigerant, possibly R-22 or the newer R-410A, to turbo cool the hot air and pump it back into the home. The heat is absorbed by the refrigerant, then transfers to the coils and drains away.
- Hot/cold air is pulled from home
- hot/cold air goes to the AC/furnace where it is cooled/heated
- Cold/hot air is returned to the home, adjusting the temperature to satisfaction
How To Maintain HVAC System?
Maintaining your HVAC isn’t rocket science! Okay, it’s not all the easiest stuff in the world but there is plenty you can do -right now- to stay on top of your maintenance and keep your HVAC running smoothly.
Inspect, Clean, or Change Air Filters Once a Month
Change your filters in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump, at least once a month – sometimes more frequently if you have a lot of pets. Dirty filters increase the burden on the systems making them work harder for less effect.
Clear the Area Around Your HVAC System
As mentioned AC units can be placed on your roof or even on a concrete slab along the side of the house. Do your best to keep the unit free and clear of debris and vegetation. Trim shrubs and plants near your air conditioning unit to promote good airflow.
Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils
Just like dirty filters will make your system work harder for less, dirty evaporators and condenser coils will likewise stifle the performance of your system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a dirty condenser coil can increase the energy used by 30%
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
It might not be the most obvious addition to your HVAC system but making sure you have a great thermostat can help you keep your energy bill in check and ensure your system is running when and how it should. Take a look at a smart thermostat and find out more.
Schedule Regular HVAC Tune-Ups and Maintenance
Perhaps the most powerful step of all, making sure you are getting regular HVAC maintenance and tune-ups! A little goes a long way and getting your HVAC looked at every few months will ensure your system is working at peak efficiency and address any preventable failures that might be coming down the pipe.
Need to get your HVAC basics handled now? Give ACE Home Services a call and we’ll get your home cooling just like it should in no time flat. Weekends, holidays, in the middle of the night, you give us a call and we’ll come helping!